2024 HK4TUC expression of interest to participate in the Challenge
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Nature of the Challenge
The 2024 #HK4TUC event takes place Fri, 09 - Mon, 12 Feb 2024 (eve to third day of Chinese New Year).

The HK4TUC is a low key, extremely difficult event that requires a high level of hardship and endurance. Self-reliance and determination are the focus of the Challenge. Participants will need to carry all gear, food, water etc. and must therefore expect to carry a heavy pack.

This is only for people who love pain and suffering and get a thrill out of attempting something that they deem impossible, and they expect most likely to completely fail at. That's the reason why this Challenge was founded in 2012.

The essence of the HK4TUC is about you and you alone in your battle with the trails over a very long, sustained period.

Given the distance and elevation change involved, this event is targeted at the experienced trail running enthusiast. This is a very hard event, and it challenges your strategy and self-pacing, and not necessarily just raw fitness.

The idea is for this to be a community-driven, non-commercial, no-frills challenge. This is not a race, not a sporting competition, there are no prizes, no medals, no rankings. Just a bunch of like-minded ultra-trail runners getting together to challenge themselves individually. Just for the fun of it – because the trails are there.

Fully self-supported event, i.e. each participant carries with them all they need for each trail (food, clothes, headlamp, essential safety kit etc.). Whilst on trails, no crewing, no pacing, no outside companion, no muling, no stashing, no trekking poles permitted. Since there are no rankings, relying on outside support only means cheating yourself. Participants can buy supplies at publicly available shops or vending machines along the route.

Participation is strictly by invitation from the HK4TUC founder. The list of participants will generally not be announced until the start of the Challenge.

The HK4TUC is not for you if you
are not prepared to run alone and in solitude for up to three nights in a row on trails with no or very little sleep
have never completed a 100 miles or longer trail run
just want to “see how far you get” or intend to complete some of the trails only
like to listen to music whilst running
expect race swag, aid stations with food, event specific course marking
have an allergy against champagne showers

Total 298km distance and 14,500m D+ elevation, to be completed solo and self-supported within 60 hours
This is a non-stop event; this is not a multi-stage event.
This Challenge is about completing no less than all four trails.
Participants can take rest and sleep breaks at their own discretion during the Challenge, but the timing does not pause.
Trail sequence: Maclehose – Wilson – Hong Kong – Lantau trails
Individual trails to be run in reverse of the normal forward direction
Event starts in Tuen Mun at Maclehose trail finish and ends in Mui Wo at the famous green postbox in front of the ferry terminal.
18 hours cutoff (measured from the participant’s individual start time) to finish the first trail (Maclehose)
54 hours cutoff to start the fourth trail (Lantau)
Participants will be recognised as Finisher if they complete the Challenge within the 60 hours cut-off time and comply with all rules.
Participants failing to finish in 60 hours may continue with the Challenge and will be recognised as Survivor if they complete Maclehose within 18 hours, start the Lantau trail within 54 hours and complete all four trails within 72 hours and comply with all rules.
Participants failing to complete Maclehose within 18 hours, or to start the Lantau trail within 54 hours or complete all trails within 72 hours or found to violate (or their crew violates) any of the rules may continue on their own but will be removed from the tracking system, not be recognised in the Challenge, and listed as Retired without any further details.
Nobody will be waiting at the Mui Wo green postbox after 72 hours, there will be no welcome reception and the tracking system will be switched off and the Challenge will end.

The individual courses follow exactly the original four Hong Kong long distance trails, as shown here http://hiking.gov.hk/. There are three exceptions to this rule: the start of the Wilson trail is at the Nam Chung Public Toilet on Luk Keng Road, the start of the Hong Kong trail is in Shek O Village at the bus terminus on Shek O Road and the end of the Hong Kong trail is at the Central Ferry Piers.

Course knowledge is advantageous and course recce is recommended. GPS aid and maps can be used in the Challenge for now.

Mandatory and suggested gear
Mandatory: for safety reasons, you must carry a face mask and hand sanitiser and the official GPS live tracker (must be switched on) provided for the event, must carry a mobile phone and must be contactable at all times. If you are not reachable by phone you will be disqualified. Running out of phone battery is not a valid excuse, you will still be disqualified if we can't reach you – no exception.
Suggested: Water, water filter, nutrition, lighting system with backup, rain jacket, emergency space blanket and first aid kit.

No fees to participate, no whining, no aid, no awards. Fatass-style all the way.
This is a solo, self-support event. Support of any kind is strictly only permitted after completing and before starting each of the four trails.
Strictly solo and self-supported whilst on trail. No pacers, outside companions, crews, mules, drop bags. Crew support only allowed outside of the stipulated four trails.
Strictly no support whilst on trail, including places like Tai Po, Lam Tin, Tai Koo Shing, cross-harbour MTR, Parkview, HK trail petrol station on Wong Nai Chung Gap road, The Peak and similar.
No more than two participants of the Challenge are allowed to run together (observe social distancing) and purely for safety reasons. Keep in mind this is a personal challenge. Outside companions are considered support and lead to disqualification.
Participants are responsible for their crews and outside companions and will be listed as Retired if any rule is violated including if any crew members or outside companion violate any rule.
Must carry mandatory gear at all times.
Must operate GPS live tracker at all times.
Must be contactable by mobile phone at all times.
Trekking poles, hiking poles, walking sticks are strictly not permitted.
Use of music or sound playing devices of any sorts and headphones are strictly not permitted.
No political or other slogans are to be visible on any of your clothes or equipment.
All trails and the entire course need to be covered on foot only.
Must take MTR from Lam Tin to Tai Koo for Victoria Harbour crossing along Wilson trail. If the train service has stopped, you must wait until it resumes. Also, there is strictly no crew support permitted here and on the train since it is still considered part of the Wilson trail.
Must take ferry from Central (Hong Kong island) to Mui Wo (Lantau island) after Hong Kong trail and before Lantau trail. If you miss a ferry, you must wait for the next one. You can take the ferry via Peng Chau for a more scenic experience.
If you get lost, you must backtrack to the last trail marker and try again.
Once you started a trail, you must not return, and must not get any further crew support until after completing the trail.
Strictly no littering, including crew. Anyone caught littering will be immediately disqualified and banned from future Challenges.
Please maintain proper trail etiquette.
If you retire from the Challenge, you must inform the Challenge Director as soon as possible.
No drugs allowed. The use of banned substances as established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as any use of Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (such as Aspirin, Celecoxib, Diclofenac, Naproxen etc.) is strictly prohibited. The use of such substances can cause serious medical problems (such as kidney failure) during ultra-endurance events. If we become aware of any runner taking, carrying or their crew carrying any banned substances, Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs then that runner will be disqualified. All WADA anti-doping rules apply and are to be strictly observed.
Rules may be added or changed at any time and without notice if and when circumstances arise at the sole discretion of the Challenge Director.

In addition, the rules outlined in other sections of this document also apply. Violation of any rules may result in time penalty (one hour or multiples of one hour) or disqualification, either during or after the event. The decisions of the Challenge Director are final. Whining and bitching doesn’t help (see rule #1 above).

By entering the challenge you agree to be photographed and filmed, with the images used as part of the HK4TUC social media or any other types of publications including by third parties.

Disclaimers and risks
You enter and participate in the Challenge entirely at your own risk. If anyone can complete this Challenge, it will certainly require exceptional endurance and mental strength and self-sufficiency. There will be no medical support. If you are injured but can walk, then please use the nearest exit from the trail back to civilisation and promptly inform the Challenge Director. For all serious medical problems or in case of emergency, note the number of the nearest trail distance post (e.g. W039) along your way, and call 112 or 999 or use the nearest emergency telephone.

This is a low key event for experienced ultra-runners only. It will be extremely difficult to complete, and participants are expected to be aware of the risks involved in ultra-running and the potential hazards that could arise. They should be aware of their surroundings at all times and take care when crossing roads. The organisers accept no responsibility for the personal safety of the participants and their crew, any injury or the loss of any personal items. Runners are recommended to take out their own personal insurance. Participation in this Challenge is entirely at your own risk.

Participation in the Challenge requires invitation by the HK4TUC founder.
Minimum qualification is a successfully completed, single stage, formal 100 miles trail ultramarathon race within the respective timing cutoff of that race. The result must be visible under your DUV profile (e.g. https://statistik.d-u-v.org/getresultperson.php?runner=182134).
You can express interest to participate, and need to provide sufficient background on why you want to join and what your intrinsic motivation is and list highlights of relevant ultra trail experience.
You may or may not receive an invitation.
Anyone not invited may try again next year. Or create your own personal challenge – the trails are there for everyone.
Whining and bitching does not increase your likelihood to be invited.
Max 24 participant slots with at least 50% female participants. Two waitlists will be maintained, one for women and one for men.
Confirmation of your acceptance of the HK4TUC rules and conditions of participations *
It is important that you read through and understand all of the above details and rules for the Challenge.
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